Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pass the SALT Please

In my house growing up, if you asked someone to "pass" you something at the dinner table, you often ended up "catching" what you asked for. I wasn't going to do a post on salt until I was shocked one day in my own kitchen. Here is the story. I was cooking some spanish rice which calls for seasoned salt. I had just picked up some more season salt at the grocery store the week before. Before I put it in, I looked at the back of the bottle at the ingredients list. I was just curious what was in seasoned salt.

99 cent Kroger Brand Seasoned Salt Ingredients:
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Corn starch
  • Yellow 5 and 6
  • Red 40
  • Blue 2
  • Natural Flavors
  • Silicon Dioxide (Anticaking agent)
Gross right?

Maybe that is what I get for buying the store brand.

I do want to tell you about a healthy alternative. Costco sells a No-Salt Seasoning that I like. I often use it when I think a recipe calls for too much salt. I only use it in savory dishes (not muffins, or cookies). It is organic and has worked out great. Here is the description on the front. "A blend of 21 organic spices and ingredients from around the world go into this sensational No-Salt Seasoning." Here are the first 10 ingredients (they are all organic, so I won't write that 10 times).

  • Onion
  • garlic
  • carrot
  • black pepper
  • red bell pepper
  • tomato granules
  • orange peel
  • parsley
  • bay leaves
  • thyme
It is one of those things where you don't feel like you could add too much.

The big question that I have gotten from more than one person is, "Is salt really that bad for you?" I used to say, not unless you have high blood pressure. I said this because in one of my health classes they said that only about 10% of the population were salt sensitive. Meaning that if they ate too much salt, it made their blood pressure go up. A recent study that came out in March showed that up to 69% of Americans are in the group for people that should watch their salt intake (older than 40 years, or black, or people with high blood pressure). The reason you have to cut down on salt after age 40 is because your kidney's become less efficient at getting rid of extra salt at this age.

When you step back and look at the whole picture, as a nation we are eating more processed foods and eating out more often as well. Those are the 2 places that we get the most of our salt in our diet. Let me make it clear what "processed food" is. Processed food is food that has been prepared by someone else. Some things that are in that category are: frozen pizza, frozen burritos, anything that you get from a restaurant.
Things that are NOT processed foods are: homemade soups, lettuce, fresh fruits and vegetables, from scratch cupcakes, and so on.
The bottom line is that when someone else makes the food, you don't have control of the amount of salt in the food.

So be careful of eating too much processed foods, and try a no-salt seasoning.


  1. I often (most of the time) "forget" to salt the food as I am cooking, especially when cooking without a recipe. I am trying to find other ways to season our food and have seen this at costco. I will pick it up next time, for sure. Then maybe some of us wont reach for the salt shaker before we even take a bite. Thanks

  2. Wow, cute blog! Now that we have a home and a small garden, it's nice and rewarding to be able to grow our own food and make things from scratch, like spaghetti sauce!
    And I'm not one to buy things like fruit snacks and what-naught. I've even gone so far as to try and make my own crackers! THAT was an experience!

    P.S. I heart you comment on my blog! LOL!

  3. great suggestions, Lisa! I'll have to pick up some of that seasoning. Looks yummy. What are your favorite things to add it to?

  4. I found some Celtic Sea Salt at Whole Foods that we absolutely love. It has zero additives and has the important minerals that your body needs. It's pricey but a little goes a long way!